Update Overload! Stay Afloat in a Facebook Flood

Today's special super bowl blog is written by guest blogger Frank Emanuele. Frank is one of Likeable's newest buzz builders and is also not a huge fan of the super bowl. See how he can help you filter your social media on big events!

It’s Super Bowl Sunday! Are you excited for it? No? Me neither, really. Call me crazy, but aside from the always-entertaining commercials and the sometimes-scandalous halftime show, it’s not really my thing. Since Hulu began posting the highly-anticipated ads immediately after they air on TV (which they plan to do again this year) I find myself with fewer reasons to watch the whole game anymore. But one thing I’ve noticed since I became active in social media is that each year, the amount of Super Bowl-related status updates filling my timeline increases exponentially. And it’s not just the Super Bowl! The same thing happens whenever there’s an election, an awards show, or a major conference. So what is a guy to do? I love Twitter, but I don’t need 50 people to update me on who won the Oscar for Best Assistant Script Supervisor! And it must be especially annoying for the rest of the world to see their American friends monopolizing Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks whenever these events happen. How do you avoid “event fatigue” without sacrificing your social media addiction?

Filters One way to attack the problem is to simply filter out the people and updates that are clogging up your timeline.For Twitter users, there is a simple solution! The popular desktop application TweetDeck will allow you to create Global Filters that weed out specific tweets and people from your timeline. You can choose to do this by entering the usernames of people who are tweeting actively about the event in question, or you can simply type in a few key terms that you want removed from your timeline. Then sit back and enjoy tweeting as usual! On Facebook, you can opt to remove individual friends from your News Feed without them even knowing about it. Just let your mouse hover over an update from a friend, and an “X” will appear in the top right corner of their status. Click it, and then you’ll have an option to stop seeing posts from that person. Easy! And when you’re ready to start seeing their posts again, you can just go to your News Feed Settings and reverse it.

Lists OK, so filters are great and all, but what if you know that you just want to see updates from a select group of friends? That’s where lists come in. Over a year ago, Twitter’s website introduced a Lists feature. It’s as simple as finding the “Lists” tab on your home page and following the “Create a list” link. After that, just add the names of a few Non-Baseball fans so you can focus on reading their tweets until the World Series is over and order has been restored to the Twitterverse.

Facebook also offers Lists that can make it quick and easy to sort out the signal from the noise. On your “Friends” page, click “Create a List” and choose the friends whose status updates you want to see. Once that’s done, go back to your News Feed and click “Most Recent.” After you’ve done that, you’ll notice a little arrow will pop up next to the “Most Recent” link. Click it to reveal a drop-down menu and choose the List you just created. Now your News Feed only shows the people you’ve handpicked!

You shouldn’t have to give up social networking just because the rest of the world is quoting the State of the Union or tweeting a World Cup play-by-play. There are plenty of great ways to temporarily funnel out those unwanted tweets and statuses without unfollowing or unfriending half of your social sphere.

What kinds of statuses annoy you the most? Leave a comment and tell us your favorite way to have your social media cake and tweet it too!